November 2003
New Republic;11/3/2003, Vol. 229 Issue 18, p12
This article responds to two articles related to the issue of anti-Semitism: an article written by Paul Krugman in the New York Times, about a speech delivered by Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohammad, and, anti-Semitic statements published in a blog written by National Republic Senior Editor Gregg Easterbrook. Most importantly, the purpose that Krugman detects in Mahathir's anti-Semitism is nothing other than the only purpose that the hatred of the Jews has ever had: to distract the energies of a society from the depredations of its rulers by blaming its hardships upon an imaginary enemy. You might say that Bush is for Krugman what the Jews are for Mahathir. Krugman should act on his admiration for Mahathir and learn to use his brains also. Last week, Senior Editor Gregg Easterbrook wrote an item in his blog for TNR.com about the moral culpability of Hollywood executives who profit handsomely from movies that glorify violence and depict it with pornographic vividness. We make no defense of these words, and we are mortified that they appeared under the auspices of a magazine that has for many decades been in the forefront of the campaign against anti-Semitism and bigotry of all kinds. Easterbrook's comment is false and ugly, and we do not wish in any way to make excuses for it.


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